Auto-Injector Technology leads to first responder readiness for chemical incidents
Research found the use of auto-injectors shortens the response time for administering antidotes to organophosphorous poisoning.
The Saint Louis University (SLU) study found that a single-needled, dual-chambered auto-injector containing both atropine and pralidoxime chloride—called Antidote Treatment Nerve Agent Auto-Injector (ATNAA)—can actually cut the administration time in half when compared with a single injection using a needle and syringe or two auto-injectors using the Mark I™ Nerve Agent Antidote Kit (atropine injection and pralidoxime chloride injection). The study also found there was no difference in time to administer the Mark I Kit versus one injection with traditional needle and syringe.
The above-mentioned randomized, unblinded study was conducted at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health’s Institute for Biosecurity and was intended to quantify and compare the time required to administer organophosphorous antidotes using traditional equipment versus auto-injectors in two different treatment conditions (either with or without wearing personal protective equipment).
Investigators concluded that the use of ATNAA auto-injectors shortens response time for administering organophosphorous antidote treatment. An ATNAA can be administered in less than half the time it takes to administer a single injection using a needle and syringe or two auto-injectors using a Mark I Kit. Since participants only administered one injection (atropine) with traditional needle and syringe, investigators concluded that the recorded times would have been at least twice as long, if two injections (both atropine and pralidoxime chloride) were administered in the same manner.
“Speed is essential when responding to an organophosphorous poisoning incident, whether it be accidental through exposure to certain insecticides or the intentional release via chemical weapon. The preferred treatment protocol involves the immediate injection of antidotes, followed by evacuation, decontamination and transportation to the hospital,” said Will Chapleau, EMT-P, RN, chairman, Prehospital Trauma Life Support, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. “Antidotes need to be readily accessible to EMS providers and easy to use in the field. First responders will have only minutes to administer antidotes to victims exhibiting symptoms. This study demonstrates these auto-injectors meet this need.”
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